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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Henry Blofeld: Top-10 quotes of the cricket commentary great

Henry Blofeld retired on Saturday after the conclusion of the third England vs West Indies Test match in London. He earned his fame as a cricket commentator for Test Match Special on BBC Radio.

cricket Updated: Sep 11, 2017 14:12 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Cricket commentator Henry Blofeld walked around the pitch to applause from fans as he retired in London on Saturday.
Cricket commentator Henry Blofeld walked around the pitch to applause from fans as he retired in London on Saturday.(AP)

Henry Blofeld remained a favourite for several generations of radio listeners for close to 50 years, entertaining them with quirky yet amusing remarks on varied topics -- from pigeons to London buses to cricket.

His on-air remarks working with BBC’s Test Match Special have captivated the listeners for years for he would even go on to describe smallest of incidents in the most superfluous yet entertaining ways. Let us take a look at his 10 best comments:

READ | End of an era: Henry Blofeld retires from cricket commentary

“He lifted the game from a state of conventional excitement to one of unbelievable suspense and drama and finally into the realms of romantic fiction.” – An excerpt taken from the Test Match Special Book Of Cricket Quotes, by Dan Waddell.

“Those who run cricket in this country, especially at the domestic level, are for the most part a self-serving, pusillanimous and self-important bunch of myopic dinosaurs unable to take any but the shortest-term view of everything.” – Blofeld’s comments on those in-charge of England cricket, circa 2003, published in The Independent.

“As soon as I started writing about cricket, I realised that this was the way of life for me. Wild horses wouldn’t have dragged me away. It’s never made me much money, but it’s given me a hell of a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t have swapped it for anything. If I’d stayed in the City and kept my nose clean, I dare say I’d have made an awful lot more. What little money I ever had, I’ve lost pretty consistently.” – As told to The Guardian in an interview.

READ | West Indies cricket sees fresh hope after England Test series

“Listeners will now be relieved to know that their chances of being told the right name of the fielders at third man and fine leg have greatly increased.” – A comment made by Blofeld on his website while announcing his retirement.

“There’s stress in all of life, isn’t there? I feel sorry for (Jonathan) Trott, but there are questions. He had a bad summer against Australia. Then two low scores in the first Test. The next we know, he’s on the way home. These days there is every sort of coach. It does seem extraordinary that with so many helpers of every sort, they didn’t see this coming. Is it a question of not being able to cope with failure? Do people give in a bit too early? I hate to say it, but this didn’t happen in the old days.” – Blofeld’s comments on Jonathan Trott, who returned home midway from the 2013-14 Ashes in Australia.

“I lay like a broken jam roll in the gutter.” – Blofeld’s comment on his accident that ended his career as a cricketer.

“And still Close has not rubbed any part of him. What an amazing man he is.” – Comments made on Brian Close, who at the age of 45 was called upon in England side to face the wrath of West Indies’ bowlers once again.

READ | Kevin Pietersen ‘partially arrested’ at Geneva airport. Here’s why

“I hope some will be sad that they will now hear less about the lifestyles of pigeons, seagulls, and helicopters although I fear the general feeling will be one of huge relief. Now, I shall be able to come to the cricket without worrying about who is lurking down at third man. I shall also be able to have a drink without feeling I am being politically incorrect. And hallelujah to that!” – Comments on his retirement.

“I have always tried to marry strong woman thinking I will mould them to my ways. In the end, they have moulded me to their ways, or at least tried to, and World War Four has broken out.” – Comments made on his two marriages.

“I’m all for good and solid fierce aggression, but sledging is dreadful.” – Comment on sledging.

First Published: Sep 11, 2017 14:12 IST